At the heart of our curriculum are Learning Expeditions, which are long-term, in-depth investigations of rich topics or themes that engage students through fieldwork, service, and a real-world context for their learning.
Learning Expeditions include:
- skill building and background knowledge acquisition;
- application of skill and knowledge in an authentic context;
- pursuit of challenging and relevant questions;
- involvement in meaningful projects; and
- assessment by portfolio and public presentations of one’s learning.
Expeditions arise from authentic community issues and needs where students often work alongside professionals to do something to make a difference in the community. Some lend themselves to deeper exploration of the sciences and some to the arts and humanities, but all incorporate the essential skills of writing, reading, research, problem solving, artistic expression, technological proficiency, collaboration, public speaking, and formal presentations.
We view the public library, businesses, organizations, mountain parks, and all of the resources that the Boulder Creek Watershed offers as our extended classroom. Visiting Educators – experts in particular fields – also play a large role in the education. We draw upon the many local scientists, artists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, politicians, and community organizers to serve as adjunct faculty throughout the school year.
Throughout the week, Skills Classes are offered in areas such as math, Spanish, music, and art when they can not so easily be integrated into the expedition. Other workshops such as public speaking, media literacy, current events, or topics in health education are offered as well. Students are also free to propose workshops that they would like to teach or areas they would like to learn more about from staff or visiting educators.